Emotional Shock And Chronic Stress Are As Bad As Getting Hit By A Truck . . . . . . Do You Know Who
Say you are standing in your backyard smelling the roses. Suddenly you feel the poke of a sharp stick. Every cell in your body tenses and fires up, prepared to run or fight. Leaping around, you take your Kung Fu One-Footed Crane Stance and freeze, hands in the Knife Position, raised to strike the sneaky Ninja opponent that hit you from behind. Then you see that it is only your neighbor's little boy, trying to show you a caterpillar that is crawling along the edge of a fallen branch. You breathe a sigh of relief and go back to smelling the roses.
Ever seen a car that was driven by a teenager for four years? Well, that big stick poked in your back left a little tension in your cells, sort of like a ding in that teenager's car door. If you go through a BIG trauma, it can leave a BIG dent in your psychic bumper.....here is how it works.
You body works Automatically...otherwise every time you are distracted you might forget to breathe....It does this automatic work through an AUTONOMIC nervous system. That Autonomic nervous system has two generals....the SYMPATHETIC nervous system...and the PARASYMPATHETIC nervous system. As with all generals, only one can be in charge at a time. When you got poked with the stick, the Fight or Flight response kicked in....that means the SYMPATHETIC nervous system was in charge. When you found out it was only your neighbor's little boy, you relaxed and shifted back to the PARASYMPATHETIC General.
Each general oversees certain jobs to be carried out in the body. The Sympathetic general saves you from danger. When the body perceives danger, it shuts down nonessential body functions - so that all energy can be focused on running away from danger, or if necessary, to fight for your life.... that means your body is NOT digesting, resting, or repairing.
When the Parasympathetic general is in charge, the body is in a state of relaxation. That is the signal for the body to digest, rest, and repair.
There is another important factor in deciding who gets to be the acting general. When there is chronic stress, the Sympathetic system can get stuck in the ON position. The other problem is that the body cannot tell the difference between a tiger and a Mastercard bill. In some ways the tiger is easier to handle than the Mastercard bill. With the tiger, it is over quickly. The choices are run away, kill the tiger, or get eaten. With the Mastercard bill, the stress can go on and on and on. In today's world that means for your entire life.....and if we are thinking about the Mastercard bill while driving in rush hour traffic on Mopac....and simultaneously eating a breakfast burrito...well, let's just say, it is not good.